It’s spring break over here at the homestead, which means, 4 kids, 2 dogs, 12 chickens and two parents cooped up. It’s also a nice foreshadowing of what homeschool will be like next year! Regardless of the population count at our house, errands must happen and the grocery store was one. The lumberjack was off at work so I was solo with all four and off to the store we went. Jake and I take what we eat and feed our family very seriously and have chosen to go 100% organic, I’m not saying this to sound holier than thou or make anyone that doesn’t eat this way feel bad, just sharing that through research and educating ourselves about the food system, once you know things, you can’t unlearn them! It means a lot to us to feed our kids and our bodies the best, cleanest and healthiest!
So here’s how our grocery store marathon adventure played out. 4 kids, one mum, hot day and I hadn’t had any wine yet. We started at Aldi, I haven’t been in a while but have heard that they have switched to more organic food, cheap+organic= holy grail in my book. It is true that their packaged food, snacks, and eggs were organic and cheap so I’ll definitely be back for stocking up on staples but when it came to meat (they did have organic ground beef!) and produce they fell short!
upset that I couldn’t make it a one store shopping trip I tossed my crew in the yoga van and off we went to store number two.
Harris Teeter, I honestly don’t even know why I try, overpriced, constantly moving stuff around and not what we need. DO NOT EVER SHOP AT THE HARRIS TEETER IN MATTHEWS ON MONROE RD. EVER! I went in for goat milk and organic veggies and came up completely empty handed, I got thirsty after wearing a baby and lugging 3 others so I grabbed a juice and waited in line for 3 minutes to check out, elevator music and all.
Harris Teeter number 2, cotswold. Construction, 4 kids, mum near meltdown status. I found the goat milk, no organic potatoes or corn (I know the corn is out of season so it’s my fault) and forget trying to find nitrate free kielbasa.
Here’s the moral of all this and the lesson I was able to teach the girls. Our country’s food system is so incredibly flawed because of the votes (dollars spent) cast on that flawed system. Do I enjoy spending a ridiculous amount of money on organic food to feed a family of 6? It’s not easy but yes! I’m voting with my hard earned money every time I shop to make sure Monsanto gets a big fat NO at the ballot. I support farmers markets, I support local, we grow our own and buy organic at the store when we can actually find it. I could have easily just said “whatever” and stocked up on chemically injected meat from Aldi at a super cheap price and had a less stressful day, but they would have won. I chose, instead, to make 3 different stops, with 4 kids to do what my conscious knows is right. I know I’m talking about our food system like it’s a war, but that’s because it really is.
The chemicals, pesticides and gmos present in conventional food are a direct product of WW2. The same companies, factories and workers that manufactured weapons of mass destruction are manufacturing what is put in and sprayed on the food that a great majority of Americans are putting in their bodies. This not only destroys organs and tissue but it rapes the earth, poisons the water and pollutes the air.
You have a choice about what you do though, you have a very important vote to cast. Here are some ways to help turn that tide, heal your own body and your families:
Shop local, shop organic
Grow your own food: Use organic soil, compost and non-gmo seeds (heirloom varieties are best) It doesn’t matter one bit if you live in an apartment, townhouse or condo and have no yard. I have grown tomatoes, veggies and herbs on an apartment balcony before and it’s fantastic! A second option to this is renting a plot at a community garden. When Jake and I lived in the loft we didn’t even have a patio so we got a plot at the community garden down the street!
Go to the farmers market: local harvest.org is a great resource to find a farm or farmers market near you.
CSA’S: Many farms allow you to buy stock, you pay up front for a continuous supply of fresh, seasonal, local goods. You support them; they support you!
Sustainable organic farming is starting to make a resurgence, however, the statistics are pretty staggering. 2% of the workforce are farmers and the average age of that 2% was over 50. Basically if a huge change isn’t made, the type of small scale, local farms that give back to the earth, the community will die out. When you’re given the choice to buy from Monsanto (conventional) or buy organic, do what’s hard and expensive and best for yourself! It’s simple supply and demand.
Here are some amazing documentaries if you’re interested in educating yourself:
The World According To Monsanto
Forks Over Knives
Fast Food Nation
Hungry For Change
Queen of The Sun
Seed of Freedom